The Wire


Nkisi's debut full length 7 Directions is released in January 2019

NON Worldwide co-founder’s album is based on the writings of Dr Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau

It's been announced that Nkisi's debut album will be released by UIQ on 18 January. 7 Directions is based on the writings of Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau. As she explains to Meg Woof in The Wire 417, “I guess the starting point was this amazing book [African Cosmology Of The Bantu-Kongo: Tying The Spiritual Knot, Principles of Life & Living by Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau]. They believe in this idea that to be able to walk as a human being in the world, you have to be able to walk in seven directions. I took the seven directions and kind of translated them into seven rhythms – it’s basically seven tracks where I explore those ideas.”

She continues, referring to her recently completed Masters Degree at London’s Birkbeck college. “My books do a lot of the work. There’s a lot of reading and conceptual work, though I just finished my dissertation and now I’m even more confirmed that I want to do music! All the concepts and reading, I feel like I can let it loose in music.

“My dissertation was kind of about transmitting knowledge and knowledge production. I was trying to argue the case for bringing back the body in knowledge production, and therefore better understand what it is to be human. I feel like music is the best space for that, to experience stuff through the body. There’s too much focus on rationality and objectivity. I guess it’s kind of weird to write a dissertation that tries to critique scientific method, it was difficult!”

7 Directions is released on vinyl and MP3 on 18 January by UIQ. Listen to the track “VII”.

The album’s artwork was directed by Nkisi and realised by Dave Gaskarth. Nkisi will curate the opening party at the Geneva Biennale. A new live collaboration with John T Gast is also forthcoming. She will also take up residency at London’s Cafe Oto in March 2019. Subscribers can read the Invisible Jukebox with Nkisi, tested by Meg Woof, via Exact Editions.